What are whoopie pies?
These cake-like cookies are set to take the baking world by storm. Small puffy confections, they consist of two soft, cakey rounds which are sandwiched together with a soft, creamy filling.
What characterises whoopie pies and sets them apart from other cookies?
Their crumbly, cake-like texture and generous filling. Thin, crisp rounds and meagre fillings simply do not make the grade.
But the real bonus is the ability to mix and match. All you need are some basic recipes and you can create almost any variation you desire, simply by adding different fillings. The possibilities are endless.
Start with these basic recipes:
When baking allow sufficient room on the tray for the cookies to spread or they will stick together.
Don't be tempted to have several trays cooking at once. Only place one tray at a time in the oven on the centre rack.
Allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks. Any sooner and they will crumble, any longer and they will stick to the paper and be difficult to remove.
Should butter or shortening be used? Most cooks swear that shortening is the better choice to achieve that characteristic lightness and shape. It also makes the cookies more durable and less likely to crumble. This makes them ideal for packing into school lunch boxes.
However if you prefer to use butter or you are unable to obtain Crisco, I have provided alternative recipes.
The secret to a fluffy filling is in the beating.
To assemble place half the cakes flat side up on a tray then either spread or pipe the filling on top. Cover with the remaining cakes.
These pies are traditionally filled with a creamy, fluffy filling.
This basic cream filling can form the basis for other more exotic fillings by simply adding other ingredients such as chopped nuts, crushed Oreos, chopped chocolate, crushed toffee or any other ingredients you can think of.
Place milk and flour in a heat proof bowl and microwave on high one minute at a time until the mixture becomes thick and pasty. Chill in the refrigerator.
Beat together the sugar, vanilla, butter and shortening with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Beat in the cooled flour mixture and continue beating until the mixture doubles in volume. It should hold its form when lifted out with a spoon.
The mixture should be kept chilled in the refrigerator.
Almost any flavour can be added to these fillings to create an almost limitless range of flavors.
There's no reason to leave your whoopies plain. Why not try these decorating ideas:
I'm sure you can think of hundreds more ways to fill and decorate your pies.
Remember, before storing your whoopie pies, cool them completely.
If you need to store your pies, you will need a large, wide container as they tend to stick. Preferably, they should be stored in a single layer, but if this is not practicable, place a sheet of waxed paper between the layers.
Assembled cookies can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
If you are using butter cream, ganache and cream cheese fillings, these will store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. However, marshmallow and whipped chocolate fillings are best used the same day.
Whoopie pies are easily frozen and can be frozen assembled or separately.
The cake part can be made ahead of time and frozen ready for use. Place the cookie cakes on a tray lined with baking parchment and put the tray into the freezer for one hour or until frozen. Remove from the freezer and wrap in plastic wrap or store in a plastic freezer bag. Freezing them before wrapping prevents them sticking. They will store in the freezer for up to one month.
To freeze the assembled whoopie, follow the above steps. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. It is recommended that the assembled cookies be wrapped individually. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month. Beyond that the filling will start to deteriorate.
To thaw remove from the freezer and leave to defrost at room temperature for at least 2 hours. If your whoopies need to be filled, also bring the filling to room temperature.
Are you interested in exploring the world of whoopie pies? Looking for more recipes? This fabulous book will give you hundreds of different recipe combinations.
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